You might wonder why you are reading about an article that explains when you should change your oil, when it is something so easy and mundane anyway. Right on, it is easy and quite hassle-free; you can get it done in under a minute at any gas station, or even do it by yourself. However, most people only rely on the mileage to determine when to change the oil in their car. This is not technically wrong, however, it might be possible that your vehicle is showing you signs that the oil needs to be changed. Ignoring these signs and relying purely on mileage only, that would seriously lower your engine health.
We have prepared a trusty guide for you to know when you should change the oil in your car based on a number of signs.
- Look out for the oil change light.
In all vehicles, there is a light at the dashboard that lights up whenever the engine is running low on oil. This is the vehicle’s way of notifying you. Usually, when this happens, the oil still available in the engine is the ‘reserve’ quantity, and you would need to stop by at a gas station as soon as you can so that your car does not break down.
- Exhaust smoke.
Your car’s tailpipe will always let off some exhaust, which is completely normal. It is usually light coloured and not too pungent. If you notice dark smoke coming out of your tailpipe, this might mean that your engine is running low on oil. In this case, you should check if there is adequate amount of it, and in case there is, but the exhaust is emitted still, you should let a mechanic take a look at your car.
- Louder engine noises.
When a car engine is well lubricated, it will not make any noise and will run quite efficiently. If it is low on oil, then the lubrication is affected, and the parts clanking against each other will create very loud clanking and clattering noises. Lack of lubrication may also result in excessive friction between the components of the engine, which can be quite dangerous.
- Smell of fuel inside the car.
If you get a strong whiff of pungent oil inside the car, it can mean a number of things which should immediately be taken care of. The most common reason behind such a smell would be an oil leak. If there is overheating with this, it can suggest that the oil is burning into the exhaust area. In this situation, you should get your oil changed at once.
- Colour of the oil.
It is advised to check the engine at least every two months to make sure everything is alright. If the oil inside is more or less translucent and amber in colour, then all is fine. In case it is too dark and grimy, it is time to change your oil.